A quick link to SPU political science professor Reed Davis’ guest column in today’s Seattle Times: “Why triple-talented Dean spells trouble for Republicans.”
Davis warns Republicans not to be so gleeful about Howard Dean’s ascension to DNC chair, noting that he’s a top-notch fund-raiser, a grassroots organizer, and a charismatic leader.
Dean’s appeal doesn’t lie primarily in the fact that he’s a great speaker (although he is) but in the fact that he’s a great listener.
Grass-roots activists in both parties have been so starved for attention and support during the past 20 years that they will flock to the first person who promises to listen and do what he can to support them.
And that, more than anything else, was the message that Dean took to the party faithful in his campaign for the party chairmanship: He’s there for them, not for the insiders, not for the professionals, and certainly not for the consultants. Dean will be there for the hardworking activists who make up the rank and file.
I was rather agnostic about the whole, very public battle over the DNC chairmanship. But I can’t say I was disappointed to see Dean triumph. I just hope he turns out to be as strong and visionary a leader as Davis suggests.
Carla of Preemptive Karma attended the recent Howard Dean / Richard Perle debate in Portland, and blogged on it here.